Under a Calm Surface
20x30" digital c-prints.
In this exploration of domesticity, the American Midwestern working-class home is approached as a site of secrecy and security. Through the use of photography and video, carefully crafted scenes are depicted as minimal theatrical settings where strange occurrences border paranormal states and natural conditions to create a stage for the new American Gothic.
Familiar artifacts and relics are used throughout the imagery to present the framework of a family inhabiting forlorn spaces and question if ordinary objects have the potential to trigger a sense of the uncanny.
By employing cinematic conventions intertwined with the visual language of photography, a world that exists in images in a way it would not be perceived in reality is presented. This creates a realm of fantasy where reality is threatened and the presence of time is obstructed. In doing so, the home is revealed as a site of trauma where the questioning of logic versus illogic, time versus space, and fact versus fiction arises.
According to Freudian psychoanalytic theory, the home is the ideal site for uncanny disturbances since it encompasses a philosophy regarding domesticity, nostalgia, family history, and the functionality of a secure structure. In the nineteenth century, works by writers such as Edgar Allen Poe revolved around these ideas to produce narratives about desolate homes filled with dread and terror. In contemporary art practice, lens-based media, instead of literature, can be used to introduce a degree of authenticity to the works allowing the depicted scenes to retain the illusion that these occurrences can, or did, indeed happen.
Throughout this work I seek to question the authenticity of the home, interpret family dynamics, and explore the disruption of domestic spaces as they are hidden behind the façade of a seemingly safe and secure structure.